Grey’s Anatomy worked its way into my life during college, it became a staple of my television-watching all through those long all-nighters and is in fact the only television program that I still watch. I was there when Meredith was just a girl in a bar and Derek was just a guy in that same bar. I was there when Derek died. I was there when Meredith felt the ‘smashed-face guy’ scribble “0-0-7” into her hand, revealing to us that George had been hit and dragged by a bus. When Izzie got cancer, when Alex got shot, when Lexie died, when Sloan died three episodes later, hell it still feels like just yesterday when Derek told Mark to keep little Sloan out of little Grey. From day one right up until day now, I’ve seen it all; Grey’s Anatomy has that special place in my heart and I’m probably closer to some of these characters — and have wept harder over losing them — than actual members of my family.
So — paraphrasing an irate Ellis Grey — imagine my disappointment when after 14 seasons after 300 episodes all they could come up with was one lousy Harper Avery win for Meredith Grey. Don’t get me wrong, the speech that Jackson gave on her behalf — because Meredith still can’t really get on a plane and you know had a trauma come into the pit — was stunning, and the way they flooded the OR gallery to have everyone watching on (with Grey and her surgical team watching via satellite feed on the OR floor) was really sentimental and well-staged. But she’s Ellis Grey’s daughter. Eventually she was going to win a Harper Avery, especially after that whole BS with Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital not being eligible finally ending. You gave us an ordinary episode, Shonda. How disappointing.
There was so much potential to really make this episode something extraordinary. And I know what television writers and producers say — that the big commemorative episodes are about the characters who are still there, those that have put in their time with the show, etc. That’s absolute egocentric bullshit. We will get all of those characters on episode 301. And 302, 303, etc., until either they leave or the series ends. But to have an episode like this — a huge commemorative episode — where the path you choose to take involves dredging up the ghosts of the past — you let your audience and your fan base down by failing to actually bring them back.
And I get it — no one actually wanted to see Katherine Heigl come back — so the weird quirky thing they did with “baby Izzie” was fine. And that even would have played fine in the dynamic of the others had they actually brought in T.R. Knight and Sandra Oh. But here you stir up this great opportunity to see them — even if it’s just the doctors’ subconscious’ having transpositions of them — and we never get to actually see them. Grey’s is trying to conjure up the spirits of episodes past but need to take a few more lessons in “how to raise the dead” if they intend to be successful.
Sloan was another example of failing in this whole “let’s raise the dead-memories” as Arizona is going on and on in surgery. Instead of mimicking his voice, you could have had Eric Dane appear right there and deliver those lines. Not really sure where and or how you would have gotten Patrick Dempsey in as Derek, and maybe that was Shonda’s BS logic. “I don’t know how to actually fit real-Derek into this episode so nobody gets to be in it.” I know many of them didn’t depart under the greatest of terms but basically the only one that has been outright banned from returning by Shonda is Heigl. So what’s the deal? It’s called she’s too big for her britches. 300th episodes don’t just pop out of nowhere. It’s like people who act so surprised that Christmas follows four weeks after Thanksgiving — it doesn’t just creep up and shout “boo!” You had time to plan it. She had over a year to plan it once they knew they were being renewed. She could have contacted them all and gotten them on board for one episode.
But let’s focus on the good things that came out of the episode, like the Maggie-Zola bonding! (And my goodness — that might be the most amount of words Zola has ever spoken!) Their time together was adorable. But apparently Meredith really only does have one child. BECAUSE WHERE ARE BAILEY AND ELLIS WHILE ALL THIS IS GOING ON??? Kudos to Maggie recognizing that she’s Zola Grey-Shepherd. We haven’t had a hyphenated Shepherd since the days of Addison. Was there anything else good that came out of this episode? I sort of feel like there wasn’t. I absolutely do not care about this fictitious crap with DeLuca and his psycho ex-girlfriend. Do not care if she stalked him to Grey-Sloan Memorial or not. Don’t really care that DeLuca’s older sister is basically now the new Callie with Sloan’s libido, though the naked cooking with Owen was hot. Do not care one iota about these new interns. Nice that they tried to steal the tunnels, though. (And did anyone catch that the clinic got mentioned???)
The drama-llama with Ben and his new career needs to be over with very quickly as well. Bailey is pulling the same crap Arizona did when she got pissed at Callie’s waffling. He’s not in the wrong. (And his spin-off is going to tank anyhow.) So she needs to settle on down and relax. Very glad to see that Dr. AllyMcBeal is gone. Still sort of missing Nathan, but like so many quick-seasonal-stretchers, I guess I’m over him too. Seeing Sofia again was nice. She looks way older than when she left, but that’s okay I guess. Kids age weirdly on prime time dramas.
All in all a huge letdown and I don’t think it had anything to do with it being Ellen Pompeo’s first time directing an episode. I think Shonda is really just grasping at straws. Though I must admit, having Kate Burton appear — silently — in the gallery as Meredith looked up to everyone cheering the announcement that she had won the Harper Avery, was perhaps the lone extraordinary moment in the show. Ellis Grey clapping — and semi-smiling — her approval of her daughter’s medical triumph. That almost completely made up for how big of a flop the rest of the episode was.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday at 8:00 PM on ABC.
What did you think of this episode? Was it worthy of the milestone it was? Start a conversation in the comments section below.